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DisCos vow to battle FG over takeover, restructuring

Two distributing companies (DisCos) have differed with the Federal Government of Nigeria over their takeover sequel to the purported activation of the call on its collateralised shares by Fidelity Bank. They, therefore, expressed their determination to resist their takeover.

The two DisCos are the Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc and the Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company. The management of Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc said that there was no legal basis for the takeover of the company following the purported activation of the call on its collateralised shares by Fidelity Bank.

 

Also, the receiver/manager’s nominee of Integrated Energy Distribution and Marketing Company claimed that it was the legal and beneficial owner of 60 per cent (controlling and managing) shareholding interests in Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company.

The reactions of the two distributing companies (DisCos) followed the announcement by the Federal Government on Tuesday regarding the takeover of Benin, Kaduna and Kano electricity distribution companies by Fidelity Bank Plc after the bank initiated action to take over the boards of the three DisCos.

The Federal Government had announced through its Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) that with the takeover of Ibadan DisCo by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the Bureau had obtained approval from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission to appoint an interim managing director for the power firm.

In a notice signed by the Director- General, BPE, Alex Okoh and Executive Chairman, NERC, Sanusi Garba, the Federal Government stated that it woul restructure the management and board of Port Harcourt DisCo to forestall the imminent insolvency of the utility.

But Ibadan DisCo, receiver/manager’s nominee, in a statement through its counsel, Kunle Ogunba (SAN), urged the public to ignore the two Federal Government agencies – NERC and BPE, on the purported takeover control and management of IBEDC.

According to it, the purported takeover was announced “in spite of a subsisting order of a court in Suit No. FHC/L/ AMC/92/2021, granted on September 8, 2021 and varied on December 3, 2021.” Ogunba said that IBEDC was unlawfully included in the announcement, and alleged that the government’s publication was “ill-conceived.”

He said: “The appointment of a receiver/ manager; Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria and its Nominee, ‘Kunle Ogunba, SAN have been duly registered at the archives of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja.

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